How many times have you heard the mantra “Build a list, The money is in a list?”
Like us, I’m sure it has been too many. How DO you build said list? Simply slap up an opt-in form and hope the subscribers come flowing in? You will be sorely disappointed with that approach. I’m not knocking the popular opinion. Heck, the market research firm Adestra, recently reiterated that email marketing has the best ROI of any marketing method, period.
All businesses can benefit from the use of targeted email marketing. A general yardstick is to expected to earn around £44 for £1 spent on email marketing. This is if you get around 82% of your customers opening your emails. So why do so many fail at it?
We examined the email marketing processes of a number of small businesses in the UK. One common thread was that they had appalling opt-in rates (less than 1%); we found some similarities in the way they carried out campaigns. These probably accounted for why they were not converting as much as they could.
1. They Didn’t Opt In.
Now, I wont judge you. You may have been sold on the idea of buying ‘targeted’ lists by an unscrupulous marketer. But that is one common reason why your ‘list’ doesn’t convert, they never wanted to in the first place. High bounce rates, high unsubscribe and complaint rates are a hassle I choose not to get embroiled in.
Focusing on the prospects who have shown a genuine interest by legitimately signing up to download a report, request a demo or otherwise given you permission to mail them, is a better use of your time.
2. Untargeted Content.
Whilst email marketing gives you a database you can re-target, you should take the effort to send them only relevant content. There is no point emailing a customer about a sale on the SAME product they bought. If you provided a good experience the first time, they will return.
A better approach to this would be to recommend complimentary products. Knowing your product and having their info, you can segment them by gender, age group, even interests. This allows you to recommend products that will resonate more with them. Some companies set up preference centres where the customer can choose the type of content they want to receive, This is a win-win, as you send relevant content and they only see what they are interested in.
3. One, Two… Ten.
Marketers are guilty of bombarding their lists with emails. This quickly leads to more unsubscribes and complaints than any other factor. A hit or miss situation, the only way to gauge the right amount of emails is to test. The use of a preference centre to obtain this data is one way; another way is to gauge customer’s response to weekly or monthly emails, by monitoring which option leads to more opened emails.
Do you regularly offer deals? Customers may appreciate a heads-up on the day the deal is launched and a reminder when it’s about to end. Mailing them six times in between to remind them will get lead to you annoying your prospects.
4. Catch Their Eye.
Many people sign up for lists and promptly forget about it. The next time they remember is when you send them an email. To get them to open it, your subject line must catch their eye, lest they mark it as spam without opening it.
Set the tone by hinting at the contents of the email. Ensure your name or company name is in the right field. Working a question into the subject line evokes curiosity and could lead to more opens. Test different formats and see what your audience responds to.
5. Call To Action Is Missing In Action.
You have gotten this far and had them read your email and are engaged enough to take an action. But you have no clear call to action in your email. In emails, subtlety regarding a call to action is over-rated. Hiding the link in text will lead to frustrated subscribers.
Remember that more and more people are accessing emails on the go, and an in-text link may blend in with other text, when viewed in a mobile device. Use bold coloured buttons to show them where to click. If you have to use text, embolden them and underline too.
Many SMEs that are guilty of these five points experience a characteristically low open and engagement rate. Their subscribers are often left confused by one or a combination of these features. Audit your email marketing process and ensure you are not making any of these errors. Search and More can help your business avoid these critical marketing mistakes. Contact them today.